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The Descent [Paperback]

Jeff Long
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Sep 2000

In a remote Himalayan cave a group of New Age tourists come across the mummified corpse of an RAF flyer. Before they can investigate the mystery, all except the guide are ritually massacred. In Bosnia, an American Air Cavalry patrol investigates a disturbance at a mass grave site and its commander catches a fleeting glimpse of a creature straight out of a medieval morality play.

We are on the verge of discovering a new frontier. And it lies beneath our feet. A global labyrinth of underground tunnels and caves, miles below the surface, inhabited by immensely strong, savage devil-like creatures. Hell exists. The world¿s armies respond to the threat and are slaughtered in the dark. But from the panic comes a new resolve. . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (14 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857989295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857989298
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11.2 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

This blockbuster confection of adventure, paranoia and horror is receiving bestseller promotion. Jeff Long gives a fresh spin to the underworld caverns of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth by populating these vast spaces with demonic creatures whose existence explains the myth of Hell. They're our feral relatives, Homo hadalis or "hadals", afflicted with horns and deformities by a harsh environment where necessity is the mother of cannibalism. Greedy for new frontiers, governments and corporations move to exploit the recently discovered underworld. It's deadlier than they think; much hideous bloodshed follows. Long expertly hits a range of nerve-jarring emotional buttons, playing on our fears of darkness, monsters, mutilation, torture and worse. One major plot strand follows a literally bedevilled expedition through terror-fraught tunnels under the Pacific to the remnants of a 20,000-year-old civilisation below. Another speculates about the charismatic hadal leader "Satan" and his impact on world religion (this is where the Turin Shroud comes in)--a tastily paranoid reinterpretation of history. There's a slam-bang climax down in the deeps, with enough horrific trimmings to make readers nervously shield their tender parts. Though the incidental science is poorly handled and occasionally absurd, The Descent reads well as nightmare action-adventure. Not, as they say, for the squeamish. -- David Langford
In a high Himalayan cave, among the death pits of Bosnia, in a newly excavated Java temple, Long's characters find out to their terror that humanity is not alone, that, as we have always really known, horned and vicious humanoids lurk in vast caverns beneath our feet ... This audacious remaking of the old hollow-earth plot takes us, in no short order, to the new world order that follows the genocidal harrowing of Hell by heavily armed, high-tech American forces. An ambitious tycoon sends an expedition of scientists, including a beautiful nun linguist and a hideously tattooed commando former prisoner of hell, ever deeper into the unknown, among surviving savage horned tribes and the vast citadels of the civilisations that fell beneath the earth before ours rose. A conspiracy of scholars pursues the identity of the being known as Satan, coming up with unpalatable truths about the origins of human culture and the identity of the Turin Shroud, and are picked off one by bloody one. Long rehabilitates, madly, the novel of adventures among lost peoples--occasional clumsiness, and promises of paranoid revelations on which he cannot entirely deliver, fail to diminish the real achievement here; this feels like a story we have always known and dreaded. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Adventure isn¿t dead. It¿s just gone to Hell.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some excellent concepts 21 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Well worth reading. This book has some superb elements to it. A lot of pseudo-sience but when taken in the context in which it is presented, forms a great story-line that keeps the reader turning the page. For anyone who enjoys a well presented action thriller which provokes thought and keeps you reading past your bedtime, this is the book for you. The only criticism is the way provisions are 'dropped' to the expedition - Ludicrous, read it and weep! - but alas the only way the book can keep going.
I would have given it 4+1/2 stars if I could but it's not quite a 5!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Descent - Remarkable 10 Jan 2003
I recently read this book for the second time and feel duty bound to tell the world what a fantastic and well written novel it is.The storyline is convincing, the research is thorough and the imagery is absolutely stunning.
I have struggled with 'epic' type novels in the past, but this one can only be described as 'unputdownable' (if you will excuse the overused cliche).
Long manages to turn a fantastical premise into a story that is believable, even worryingly possible. He must be forgiven for the odd failure (the provision dropping method is ludicrous - thank you for the perfect example, a reader from London)because he achieves the most important aim of every author - come up with a good story and tell it well.
Read 'The Ascent' by Jeff Long. Not in the same league as this masterpiece, but a good read all the same.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most gripping book I have read in a long while 5 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Beware reading this book - you will not be able to put it down. This is one of the most exciting books published in recent years and you will keep turning the pages until it is finished. It crosses genres being both sci-fi and a thriller and will please people who are aficianados of both. If you buy nothing else this year buy this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Excellent 2 Oct 2000
By A Customer
It took me months to read this book (on and off), but I am glad I did! The first 4 chapters are just amazing, aswell as horrifying. The book slowed down slightly after that, but quickly got rivetting again about half way through. This is a masterpiece of science fiction/horror and anyone who is a fan of the genre should obtain a copy. Some parts of it are unexplained and leave you guessing. Also, the story is not finished completely, and has an interesting twist at the end.
A great book if you have a lot of time to kill and a stomach for horror.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
What a fantastic premise and utterly absorbing first chapters. However the themes of an alternative evolution were neither explained or clarified. A dissapointing last third let down thebooks initial promise
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW 26 Jun 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I adored this book and got it after reading The Year Zero, by the same authot... This was better than that...

I think that this should be a series... I am contemplating reading this again.. I am so glad that I got this book and will be a keeper forever...

Read and enjoy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best book I've read this year 26 Sep 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
starts with a mystery and then gets more mysterious as it goes on .You just have to keep reading The Hadals are a wonderfull innovation a story that I will remember for a long time my advice to anyone take your time reading it but read it you must
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite peculiar in many ways 25 Sep 2002
By Jammer
To start with I quite enjoyed it as it mixed gratuitous violence with a decent air of mystery - however I felt the whilst the book seemed to be leading the reader into a spectacular confrontation situation with the Hadals - it did not materialise. However - the author decided to follow another tangent in the pursuit of some sort of crypto-mythical deity in the form of Satan which was never fully explained. Also I found that the actual confrotation of this 'eons old evil' was at best disappointng - something that could have been truly entertaining - leaving the reader to reach the conclusion that the author changed his mind about the ending of the book half way through.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible but oddly compulsive!
Well, compulsive in that I finished it, but what drivel! A ludicrous scenario; interlinking caves under the ocean, undiscovered species that suddenly become deadly and then... Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. Mackintosh
4.0 out of 5 stars While not without its foibles, a good read
The Descent holds a special place in my literary heart. When I first read it my response was 'meh.' But by the end of the week I was practically in love with it. Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2012 by Sadie Forsythe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great horror/suspense story
Firstly, I haven't seen the film of the same name but this book doesn't appear to be anything to do with it. Read more
Published on 30 Oct 2011 by Andy Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book I've ever read
On a par with Stephen King and David Gemmel, Jeff Long has a talent for creating characters you just want to know more about. Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2011 by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't think I'll be going potholing anytime soon
I picked this up in a charity shop, intrigued by the premise and having never read anything by Long before, or even seen any reviews previous, I entered Long's subterranean world... Read more
Published on 29 Nov 2008 by N. Cannon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, thought provoking adventure
It took me a while to actually pick this book up from my shelf (I bought it in January) but when I did I was suitably impressed and read it within 3 days. Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2008 by L. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars into the abyss...
Wow, what a read. Now, I would consider myself to be a fairly seasoned reader of books. I have seen many different topics & many different styles of writing. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2008 by wilco121
5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral, shocking, violent .... brilliant !!
Visceral, shocking, and in parts, extremely violent, but Jeff Long's book `Descent' is also a thrilling adventure. Read more
Published on 31 Oct 2007 by alexander the librarian
5.0 out of 5 stars You Must Read This Now!!
Never heard of Jeff Long. Nope nor had I.

This is not a book about climbing or coming down a mountain. Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2007 by Mr. William Oxley
5.0 out of 5 stars A horror story of EPIC proportions!
The Descent is probably the most well written, well constructed story I've read to date. Epic in it's scope, Long's description of a hidden, labyrinthian world beneath our own and... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2007 by Jack
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